FRENCH roads will be paved with 1,000km of specially designed photovoltaic tiles over the next five years – with each kilometre giving enough power to light a village of 1,000 inhabitants.
Ecology minister Ségolène Royal approved the plan, which uses new technology to tile roads with panels made from photovoltaic solar cells covered with an ultra-resistant resin.
The fruit of five years of research jointly led by Colas, world leader in road construction and the INES, the French National Institute for Solar Energy, the Wattway is a patented French innovation.
By combining the techniques of road construction with those of photovoltaic production, Wattway supplies clean, renewable energy, under all types of vehicle traffic. The project will be financed by a rise in taxes on oil and gas raising up to €300million for transport.